In Olmstead v. L.C., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states have an obligation to ensure that people with disabilities can live, work, and receive support services in the least restrictive setting possible. An Olmstead Plan provides the framework through which a state intends to comply with this legal obligation. Rhode Island does not have a Plan.
For years, our leaders have argued we can’t create an Olmstead Plan because we can’t afford to implement it. We believe Rhode Island can’t afford NOT to plan.
Our failure to plan means that people with disabilities who, if given proper support services, could live in the community, parent their children, be gainfully employed, or attend college or vocational school are otherwise left to fend for themselves, often unemployed or institutionalized, dependent on disability benefits, with little money to spend in the economy. Many individuals with severe mental illness cycle through hospitals, emergency departments, jail or homeless shelters at great public expense. With determination and creativity, Rhode Island can fund an Olmstead Plan.
Join us for an engaging discussion with representatives from other states that have working Plans. We will dig into how their state established a plan, how they funded and implemented it, and how they are keeping their Plans alive during the economic crisis.
*The Integration For All Town Hall Series is funded with support from the Rhode Island Foundation*